Re: Fireball or re-entry?

Jake Rees (
Wed, 17 Nov 1999 01:46:11 -0800

Here is a web page with a picture of it.

This web page comments "Astronomers couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was,
but say it was likely space junk or pieces of a satellite."  My take on that
is that it is incorrect.  I tend to agree with those on the list who think
it was a fireball meteor.  Would not the fact that it was seen over a large
geographical area eliminate the possibility of it having been a re-entry of
space junk?  Wouldn't a space junk re-entry be limited to a smaller
geographical area since they begin at 50-100 miles altitude?  Also, is it
not correct that meteors hitting the atmosphere coming from the west going
towards the east are hitting an atmosphere already going ~20,000 MPH in that
same direction, because of the earth's rotation, and so tend to have a more
liesurely burn just as this one did?  More reports can be found at

In any case, wish I could have seen it.  I'll be looking for Leonids Wed.
night/Thurs. morning barring  a cloud problem.

--  Jake Rees

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